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04-03-2008, 06:58 PM   #1
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Spiratone 20mm f/2.8 Test Shots














Test shots were taken with K100D. I am not too satisfied with the lens in terms of color, contrast and sharpness, more thoughts and initial impressions in

Spiratone 20mm f/2.8 Test Shots - Hin's Tech Corner.

Maybe I expect too much from the inexpensive wide angle prime as I can't afford Pentax 21mm limited and I opt for cheaper choices. I paid about $70 after shipping for the lens, its wide angle view at 20mm is quite nice but I expect a bit more from the wide angle on color and constrast. I did some PP on the test images. Thoughts and comments welcome.

Thanks,
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 04-04-2008 at 02:06 PM.
04-04-2008, 12:25 PM   #2
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Some test shots taken on film with Pentax SuperProgram. I used FujiFilm 400 films and developed in Ritz. Ritz scanned it for me with low resolution.









04-04-2008, 05:17 PM   #3
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I'm actually hoping to be using mine this weekend around town, weather permitting, it'll be the first workout with it.
04-04-2008, 05:37 PM   #4
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Have fun with the lens. I may have the wrong expectation and hence sharing some disappointments on color and sharpness. The focal length for landscape and walk around for street photography is great with this lens. The wider view works way better than my 24mm and 28mm. I tested wide open aperture at f/2.8 with film and I am not impressed with initial results and I need to test more to be sure.

The good thing about this lens is inexpensive. And it works with both digital and film. My copy has a bit of a dent on the filter ring and hence it is not bid up high in ebay and I got it for $70 after shipping. I thought of using this 20mm f/2.8 on both my film and digital until I can afford Pentax 21 limited. Having used this lens for 2 days, I am convinced that the 21mm is something great for my usage.

Please don't get influenced by my poor finding, I still think that this lens has its value and place, when I use it in my film camera, I feel extremely blessed on the view but the color, contrast and sharpness don't come out as good as my other lens, unfortunately. I am yet to find the sweet spot for the lens but at f/2.8, I find it lacking both details and color.

I don't have a lens hood and I shoot into the light for a test shot or two








Last edited by hinman; 04-04-2008 at 05:48 PM.
04-04-2008, 06:29 PM   #5
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i like your first photo a lot!

QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I thought of using this 20mm f/2.8 on both my film and digital until I can afford Pentax 21 limited. Having used this lens for 2 days, I am convinced that the 21mm is something great for my usage.
i think the 21mm is an excellent focal length, coming in at about 31mm, right between 28 and 35mm, the old "standard" wides. great for walkaround stuff, i look forward to when you get one to see what you can do with it!

the DA21 always seems to get ignored as the "other" limited, but i'm sure there are many satisfied users. although i haven't had the chance to use mine much, so far things are looking good, and the small size is just phenomenal. keeps my mind off the Sigma DP1 too
04-07-2008, 10:48 AM   #6
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Well, no real luck this weekend, weather was terrible. Overcast, rain, snow, you name it, didn't want to even leave the house. Hoping for better weather next weekend!
04-07-2008, 11:07 AM   #7
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I will be patiently waiting for your assessment.

I have opportunity a bit more this weekend. I found out one good thing about the Spiratone 20mm f/2.8, it's closing distance is 0.7 feet and 0.2 meter and closing focusing is resonable for interior shot, test shots all in f/2.8 aperture






my boy is hungry


I find better use of the lens in interior dim light but I find the color and sharpness a bit off on the lens especially in wide open aperture. I am yet to test it more on smaller apertures.
04-09-2008, 09:37 AM   #8
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I finally got a chance to use this one for a shoot, I must say I'm rather pleased with it. I'll have some examples up after I get through them, but preliminarily I'm happy. I was using it for inside shots, no flash (no strobe, no reflectors, not a single luxury...). Shots were in the .7 to 2 second range and around f5.6 to 11, and turned out pretty good.

04-09-2008, 12:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jester_rm Quote
I finally got a chance to use this one for a shoot, I must say I'm rather pleased with it. I'll have some examples up after I get through them, but preliminarily I'm happy. I was using it for inside shots, no flash (no strobe, no reflectors, not a single luxury...). Shots were in the .7 to 2 second range and around f5.6 to 11, and turned out pretty good.
Thanks for sharing with us your initial impressions. I have to try smaller aperture then. I am not too pleased at f/2.8 but I like the lens for interior close distance at f/2.8 for the fast speed that the lens provide.

I may have many mistakes in focusing in the test shots as the focus throw is 1/4 turn and hence I may have missed focus in my test shots especially in wide aperture with f/2.8 causing me to believe that the lens is not as sharp as I want it. I would love to hear that you are happy with the Spiratone 20mm f/2.8 as that would make my poor man's three prime trio in 20/50/85 before I can afford Pentax limited 21/43/70. Opinion and impressions are subjective and I need to use it more to be sure.

Thanks again.

Last edited by hinman; 04-09-2008 at 12:20 PM.
04-09-2008, 12:39 PM   #10
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Though the digital shots do look disappointing the FujiFilm 400 photos are amazing, even though small and low res you say. The colours are just perfect and it seems to be sharp as well? How can there be so much difference?
04-09-2008, 12:56 PM   #11
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OK, here's a couple of samples from yesterday. These were in a dimly lit restaurant, but since I wanted a larger DOF, I shot with a smaller aperature (from 5.6 to 11), on a tripod, with mirror lockup...which gave exposure times around 1-2 seconds.

Focus was difficult, but not terrible. Out of about 40 shots with the Spiratone and my M-50/1.7 I got a good number of keepers.

My main issue was color accuracy and white balance in the mixed lighting (with both lenses). I was shooting RAW, so I ended up adding a little exposure and balancing the color on each shot, but didn't do any additional sharpening. These are not straight out of the camera, but it took surprisingly little to get them looking acceptable (since print size for these will not likely be larger than 2-3 inches square).
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04-09-2008, 01:13 PM   #12
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I find the sharpness good in your test shots but I am uncertain on the color. Again, I noted flat color and contrast on my test shots with the Spiratone. I would do some shooting in the weekend on various shooting and compare the 20mm f/2.8 with my other prime and zoom. I have an inexpensive zoom on Tokina 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 and I really like its color and sharpness. I paid <$100 for the zoom and I think it is better than my Spiratone 20mm f/2.8 prime in the 20mm focal length. Though not as fast, my Tokina zoom is sharp and colorful wide open.

I would use the two for comparision in the weekend along with my other prime in 24mm. By the way, nice dinner and shots you have there.

Last edited by hinman; 04-09-2008 at 01:35 PM.
04-09-2008, 01:43 PM   #13
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Could be...the Spiratone is certainly not as sharp or pleasing as the Pentax m50 1.7. It does seem to be a bit better than the kit lens at that length (which is all I really wanted), althought it's not as convenient.

I'm not sold on the color yet, but this was pretty much terrible lighting. There were some incandescents coming straight down above the food and the workstations behind the bar, reflected green light from the tiles on the wall, the firelight from the pizza oven from behind, diffuse sunlight coming from the right from plate glass windows about 20 feet away, and flourescents coming down above and behind me. Also, I've got everything converted to CMYK, and I'm not sure they're displaying right on my RGB monitor. On the original files I don't have the same color cast I'm getting looking at the web versions.

All in all, I'm not dissapointed, considering I paid far less than you did for yours.
04-09-2008, 04:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jester_rm Quote
OK, here's a couple of samples from yesterday. These were in a dimly lit restaurant, but since I wanted a larger DOF, I shot with a smaller aperature (from 5.6 to 11), on a tripod, with mirror lockup...which gave exposure times around 1-2 seconds.
Third shot looks bang-on sharp and could grace any food magazine.
04-09-2008, 05:04 PM   #15
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Thanks! They turned out pretty good for my first attempt. The ones from the m50 1.7 are even sharper, with a little better saturation and "depth". At the size these will likely print, I'm not sure you can tell the difference though.
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